Civic Futures Awards

Citizen-led mobile surveys to document and celebrate cultural heritage

Office of Historic Preservation

City of San Antonio - ScoutSA

The problem

Historic resource surveys inform development processes including planning, permitting, and incentive programs, but traditional paper-based data collection methods lack transparency and accessibility.

Solution / Approach

ScoutSA developed a mobile app to expedite and streamline data collection in the field. In addition to this traditional architectural survey meeting state and federal standards, ScoutSA created a public interface to empower communities to share, preserve, and celebrate their cultural heritage.

Core team
  • Jenny Hay, PhD
  • Jessica Anderson, MSHP
  • Shanon Miller, AICP
Key advisors
  • Claudia Guerra
  • Dr. Bruce Rosenthal
  • Pebbles Le
  • Emily Royall
  • Eddie Johnson III
  • Brian Dillard
  • Info Technology Services
  • ScoutSA Survey Team
What can make it sustainable?

A dual commitment to transparency in the collection process and accessibility to the data will drive our next steps. We are building a volunteer team to lead community-driven survey campaigns.

Advice to others

Flexible, iterative projects that respond to new technologies and local needs! Since our launch, four community-led historic district designations used variations of the digital survey, representing the first new districts in 10 years.